The Cadillacs only had one hit, 1956's near immortal "Speedoo," and they tried that template again and again, especially with "Speedoo Is Back," an obvious sequel. Both of these songs are here, as well as similar sides like "I Wonder Why," "Gloria," and "Zoom," and a whole bunch more. But there are also some nice surprises here, too, like the funky little R&B punch of "Sugar, Sugar," that show just how good this group could be outside of the doo wop genre, and thankfully, they did doo wop pretty well, too.
This is a surprisingly varied set with lots of tracks for a mid-line price, and it makes a perfect introduction to this interesting vocal group.
Ronnie Hawkins is known for many things but ballads are not one of them. Bear Family’s 2011 set proves this to be a misconception, illustrating that Hawkins is as adept with a slow burn as he is with a hopping rockabilly beat. Strictly speaking, these aren’t all ballads, at least not in the folk sense: there are plenty of those, but there are bluesy grinds, swaying slow dance crossovers, rolling progressive country, and any number of slow tunes, all of which are handled with ease by Hawkins.
Bear Family’s generous 30-track disc skips through the eras with grace, with simple early-‘60s sides sitting next to slicker ‘70s productions, but the disc never plays schizophrenically; rather, the shifting sounds reveal how Ronnie Hawkins could always deliver a song with unassuming skill.